Friday

Apr. 14, 2000

To Daffodils

by Robert Herrick

Broadcast Date: FRIDAY: April 14, 2000

Poem: "Two Daffodils," by Robert Herrick (1591-1674).

On this day in 1828, lexicographer NOAH WEBSTER RECEIVED THE COPYRIGHT FOR HIS AMERICAN DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, a monumental volume containing over 70,000 words. For more than 35 years, alone, and by hand, Webster labored over the first truly American dictionary. It featured American usages—of spelling, punctuation, and pronunciation—which were rapidly growing apart from those of England and the British Empire.

On this date in 1865, at 10:30 p.m., PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN WAS SHOT in the back of the head as he sat in a box at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. He was watching a Good Friday performance of Our American Cousin, by Tom Taylor, starring actress Laura Keene. Ninety minutes into the play, John Wilkes Booth, a deranged actor, fired a .44 single shot derringer at the president. Lincoln was carried to a boarding house across the street and laid on a bed. He died there at 7:21 the next morning, having never regained consciousness.

On this date in 1912, shortly before midnight, THE TITANIC STRUCK AN ICEBERG IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC, 400 miles south of Newfoundland, while on it's maiden voyage form Southampton to New York. The liner Californian, less than 20 miles away, could have saved most of the passengers had its radio operator been on duty to hear the Titanic's distress calls. The ship stayed afloat for about 2 hours before breaking in two and sinking into the ocean. About 1,500 of the 2,224 people on board lost their lives.

It's the birthday of photographer ROBERT DOISNEAU, born in Gentilly, a suburb of Paris (1912). He's known for his black and white photographs of ordinary people caught in the act of doing ordinary things. His most famous photograph is a 1950 shot of a young couple kissing on a crowded sidewalk in front of the Paris Hotel de Ville, or City Hall.

It's the birthday of historian ARNOLD TOYNBEE, born in London (1889). He's known for his twelve-volume collection, A Study of History (1934-1961).

It's the birthday of "Smart Set" novelist JAMES BRANCH CABELL, born in Richmond, Virginia (1879). His novel Jurgen (1919) caused a stir with its sexual frankness.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









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